MOTHER’S WIS­DOM put to the test ...

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - BODY & SOUL -

Call it ad­vice, call it nag­ging... just don’t call her and con­tra­dict! Your mother’s ad­vice: was she right or was she wrong? Let’s fact-check a few tra­di­tional Mam­myisms... Don’t bite your nails. Noth­ing good can come of it, you’d have to agree, and it’s hardly nu­tri­tious. A vast num­ber of bac­te­ria ex­ist hap­pily be­neath the nail tips but if that’s not enough to de­ter ar­dent biters, gnaw­ing on the tips can cause peel­ing, split­ting and prob­lems with ex­posed nailbeds. Longterm nail bit­ing can leave the fin­ger­tips in a very sad state, and prone to in­fec­tion. Get reg­u­lar man­i­cures as a de­ter­rent, or if the prob­lem is more se­ri­ous, con­sider hyp­nother­apy to deal with the habit.

Stop pick­ing your face. Again, a habit that can start in­no­cently and de­velop into an is­sue that needs out­side in­ter­ven­tion on oc­ca­sion to avert scar­ring. Usu­ally it’s the young teenager on the cusp of adult­hood that suf­fers from this lit­tle ob­ses­sion. Af­ter years of child-per­fect smooth skin, pu­berty can bring about a num­ber of spots, which the suf­ferer tries to re­move by pick­ing, again an in­fec­tion risk. To dis­guise the red­ness caused by pick­ing at the pores, they may pack on oil-rich con­cealer and foun­da­tion, fur­ther feed­ing the spots. Clearly it’s bet­ter to treat than pick at the break­out; visit your lo­cal phar­macy for ad­vice and tips on prod­ucts with spot-zap­ping in­gre­di­ents such as sal­i­cylic acid.

Don’t shave — or the hair will grow back thicker. Come on, if that were true, ev­ery fine-haired girl would have the ra­zor out in an ef­fort to grow a fuller mane! The sim­ple truth is that shaved hair grows back as stub­ble. The hair, hav­ing been sev­ered mid-shaft, only seems thicker. Un­shaven hair is nat­u­rally ta­pered at its tip so looks and feels soft and thin­ner. If it’s a bother, wax it or look into laser treat­ment.

Never pluck a grey hair — 10 will grow in its place. Again, magic hair growth. Fol­li­cles can con­tain a num­ber of hairs. This is what makes hair trans­plant­ing such an ex­cit­ing area of the cos­metic in­dus­try: one fol­li­cle may yield sev­eral hairs to pop­u­late bald ar­eas of the scalp. But grey hairs, if plucked in­di­vid­u­ally, do not mag­i­cally grow again as clus­ters of grey; an­other sin­gle grey will grow in its place. If you keep pluck­ing, though, you might shut down the fol­li­cle, leav­ing no hair growth at all — hardly ad­vis­able. Leave it alone and em­brace the grey, or go shop­ping for some hair dye! laura.berming­ham@mailonsun­day.ie

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